PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE LIBERIAN UNIVERSITIES STUDENTS ASSOCIATION FROWNS ON THE IMPARTIAL RE-OPENING OF SCHOOLS IN LIBERIA, CONDEMNS THE DEPRIVATION & VIOLATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF UNIVERSITIES STUDENTS TO QUALITY EDUCATION AND THE PRIORITIZATION OF GHETTOS, JAMAICAN RESORT & POLITICAL RALLIES OVER EDUCATION; CALLS ON ALL STUDENTS OF VARIOUS UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES IN LIBERIA TO BOYCOTT THE DECEMBER 8,2020 MIDTERM SENATORIAL ELECTIONS AND GIVES THE WEAH LED GOVERNMENT 15 DAYS ULTIMATUM TO REOPEN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS OR RISKS RUNNING AN UNGOVERNABLE SOCIETY.
Members of the press, erudite and ideological veterans of the youth and student communities of Liberia, comrades and compeers, revolutionary ideologies and adherent of an egargiliterian society, proponents and crusaders of social impartialities, champions and apologists of academic freedom, conscious comrades of the Nation’s leading and premier sanctuary of knowledge acquisitions, academic excellence and intellectual superiority, the various universities and colleges in Liberia;
Sons and daughters of the oppressed, depressed, deplorable, abandoned and underprivileged masses of the motherland, national pugnacious icons of our society, Stewarts, cadres, militants, academicians, intellectuals, scholar, allies, affiliates, sympathisers, members of the class of intelligentsia and uncompromising supporters of the unbending, and unthwarting Liberian Universities students Association.
It is with a deep sense of consciousness, peerless heroism and fearless gallantry that the Liberian Universities students Association brings you heartfelt revolutionary felicitations and endless gratification from the chateau of consciousness of the most vocal mass-based Pan- Africanist student movement, the indomitable Liberian Universities students Association.
On this irreversible and ideological path of always serving as the bridge between the governed(students) and the governors, administration of various universities and colleges, Ministry of Education, specifically, the Higher Commission on Education-Liberia, as a beacon of hope for the students of TERTIARY institutions and also standing in defence of social justice, academic freedom, peace and the masses’ agendas, the firebrand LUSA remains Supreme!
Members of the various venerable, critical, analytical, objective and credible media institutions in Liberia, national and international partners of Liberia’s Educational sector, the National executive committee of the Liberian Universities students Association is pleased to have you apprised that the Liberian Universities students Association is a conglomeration of all of the students from various universities and colleges in Liberia, with a decentralized leadership from various universities and colleges and the popular mandate to ensure that policies and programs that are made or designed by the national government via the Ministry of Education, specifically the Higher Commission on Education-Liberia, for tertiary institutions of learning in the country should positively impact and affect its consumers, that is, the students of those universities and colleges.
In keeping with this popular revolutionary mandate and moral educational obligation, the Liberian Universities students Association in 2019 cautioned the Executive Branch of the Liberian government, specifically the office of the President via a press conference that the political pronouncement of the declaration of tuitions free at the state-operated university should not be a mere pro-poor cliche, but rather actualized, passed into law, fully supported and implemented by the Weah led Government and other regimes thereafter; even though, a single paper as a policy document regarding means of steering said declaration is yet to be presented to the leadership of UL and other public community colleges and universities, one of the main reasons that led to the departure of the pass immediate President of the University of Liberia, in Madame Ophelia Weeks.
Members of the press, distinguished colleagues from the various universities and colleges, it can be vividly recalled that on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and two days after, specifically the 13th of March 2020, Liberia confirmed and registered her first COVID-19 case from the past immediate Boss of the Environmental protection Agency (EPA), Mr Nathaniel Blama who returned from Switzerland on government’s function as reliably reported.
Members of the press, leaders of youth and students organizations in Liberia, due to the exponential rate at which COVID-19 cases were alarming in the country, the government of Liberia via the Ministry of Education, on March 16, 2020, closed all learning institutions in Liberia, as places of huge convergence; a decision that was welcomed and respected by the student community and citizens of Liberia in generality as one of the constitutional mandates of the national government to saved guide and protect the lives and properties of Liberian citizens.
Members of the press, you are quite aware that COVID-19 brought all normal activities to a snail-paced in Liberia and by extension the World, in the name of this same COVID-19, parents, guidance and sponsors were made non-essential staffs by both government and private institutions and state of emergency was also subsequently declared by President Weah. After the perpetual extension of the State of emergency, the Liberian President finally re-opened the entire country for the normal operations of activities.
Moving forward, the Liberian Universities students Association has frowned on the reopening of secondary schools by the government via the Ministry of Education on June 5, and July 27, 2020, respectively for the sole purpose of our kids, junior brothers and sisters to complete their academic year while universities and colleges are closed and yet to complete their second academic semesters including the conduct of traditional commencement convocation for couples of our colleagues who suppose to be getting their degrees from the various universities and colleges in Liberia this 2019/2020 semester 2.
The decision of the government to closed universities and colleges in Liberia and opened high schools, while the president declared the country opened is not just a contradiction to the President’s declaration, but it’s also impartial, insensitive, illogical and discriminatory in nature.
Besides, such premature calculation and decision of sending 6th graders to schools while their parents, guidance and sponsors, those men and women who are in the various universities and colleges are home have a proclivity and propensity to cause chaos among the school going young people of Liberia, because no one has more educational rights than the others.
On the other hands, it is the same government who designed this year’s academic calendar for us all; so, why unjustifiably closed universities and colleges and opened high schools and markets, commercial sex places, ghettos and other unconscious places.
Members of the press and distinguished best brains of Liberia, the Liberian Universities students Association condemns to the highest term the deprivation and violations of the inherent rights of universities students which is the access to quality education.
The deliberate decision of the Liberian government to closed universities and colleges is not just an attempt to only silence critical voices in Liberia or people with the intellects and farsighted abilities to continuously identify the bad governance styles, gross incompetence, violations of the Liberian laws, corruption and administrative missteps of this government led by footballing President, Mr Weah, but it is also a gross violation of Article 26.1&2 of the universal declaration of Human Rights and page 19, Chapter 2, Article 6 of the revised 1986 constitution of Liberia.
In fact, this is highly politicized because WHO in her recent August 20, 2020 release said that it is very safe now for schools to re-open around the world and against this backdrop, 75 countries around the world have already opened schools. For examples: Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, France, Japan, Netherland, Australia etc.
In addendum, LUSA also condemns the prioritization of the RE-OPENING of Jamaican Resort owned by the president, ghettos, night clubs, beaches, gambling centres, entertainment centres, commercial sex places, markets, high schools as well as having political primaries, political rallies, political endorsements and active campaigning activities by government and opposition political parties while universities and colleges are closed.
Members of the press, it will interest to you all and other Liberians and by extension the entire world to note that Liberia as a great grandmother for many countries in the world and not only African countries alone is 173 years old with the literacy rate of 48.30% ( those that can read and write) while other smaller countries like Uganda that got her independence on October 9, 1862, thereby making her 57 years currently has a literacy rate of 76.53% and vigorously fighting to make sure that all members of their unique societies are literate thereby investing and pumping more monies in their educational sectors and modernizing it on a daily basis.
But, a government led by the ex-soccer legend and casino trained President, in a country like Liberia with such age, shameful literacy rate and deplorable educational system are ignoring education and allowing chicken change like $USD 226.458.00 to education as budget, drastically reducing the national fiscal budget of the State-operated University, University of Liberia(UL) as well as intentional refusing to subsidize private institutions of learning in the country, while in this 2020/2021 National Budget, the office of the President carried 10.8 million, finance ministry 90.2 million, President guards(EPS)7.1 Million, National Security Agency (NSA) 7.8 Million, the office of the Vice President 2.2 Million, National Legislature 33.4 Million and the First Lady of Liberia, carried 700,000.00 USD, even though it is very much unprecedented in the history of this country since her establishment because no First Lady of Liberia has ever received a cent from our national budget before. Not even Madame Nancy Doe, Harriette Tubman, Jewel Howard Taylor or Victoria Tolbert.
Abut upon this, LUSA wants to overly accentuate that this premature decision or calculation of president Weah and his symbiosis, as well as an accomplice, is unpatriotic, anti-educational, inconsequential, worthless, irresponsible, indelicate, slipshod, detestable, repugnant, objectionable and abominable and abortive; besides, Liberia currently has sexual Based Violence and rape cases of at least 600 as reliably reported by the Ministry of Gender- Liberia and the national government continues to ignore the stigmatization, humiliations, and sexual abuses of our daughters, sisters, and mothers; even though, one of the key reasons is the fact that they are staying home while government and oppositions political parties are actively running campaigns.
Additionally, the Liberian Universities students Association firstly acknowledges the constitutional rights of all Liberians, with students not being an exception to exercise their Democratic rights by actively participating in democratic processes like associating with political parties, independent candidates, campaigning, and voting to fairly elect their leaders in a much more accountable, transparent and fair democratic process, but as it is now, wherein our educational endeavors are being politicized by government, opposition political parties and politicians in Liberia, LUSA calls on all students of the various universities and colleges in Liberia to abstain from all political rallies and endorsement programs of visionless politicians in their respective communities and BOYCOTT the planned and pending December 8, 2020 midterm senatorial elections if universities and colleges are not open before December because political rallies, legislative functions, campaigns, endorsements, elections, beaches, social gatherings and opening of unconscious terrains are not better than learning institutions in Liberia.
Members of the press, distinguished scholars and future leaders of the fatherland, sincerely, It makes no sense for us, universities and colleges students to be front liners of political campaigns of those politicians who have already achieved in life and have their families abroad attending the best universities, colleges and well certified high schools while government keeping our universities and colleges closed and playing POLITICS with our educational endeavours and futures and opposing political parties are also hypocritically silent on said cardinal matter but just want us to endorse, campaign and vote for them.
Distinguished colleagues from the various universities and colleges in Liberia, our silence, and abstained from the political activities of the ruling establishment and opposing political parties will claim the attention of national government and well as opposition political parties to mount press on government to re-open higher institutions of learning in the country.
Remember that we’re the perfect, possible and direct replacements for current leaders in the world if they are incapacitated tomorrow. Therefore, our education which is our future is more than political affiliation; this is to say that we should not prioritize party’s mandates over the reopening of universities and colleges, but what we can do is to provide the necessary education to our political God-fathers, political leaders and other government officials that the reopening of schools in generality is more essential than political rallies or beaches.
LUSA also wants to use this terrific opportunity to wholeheartedly appreciate her conglomerating revolutionary partner, the uncompromising Revolutionary Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) with unmatched struggle history in Liberia since October 20, 1970, who instead of protesting against e-Learning at UL, have just redirected her energy to the reopening of tertiary institutions in Liberia, a national call that undermines the Ill-advised, failed upon arrival, draconic and imposed online studies as introduced by the government and accepted by the leadership of the University of Liberia in the name of wanting to please or place Ice on the chests of their slave masters, Mr Weah and his cartel of criminals.
Members of the press, members of the international community and distinguished colleagues, in this unabated struggle to demand our rights of equal access to quality education, the Liberian Universities students Association gives the footballing President Government 15 days ultimatum to reopen universities and colleges and institute all health protocols and precautionary measures so as to enable us to complete our second academic semesters and obtain our respective degrees or risk running an ungovernable society. We are acrimonious because from June 5, 2020, till now, we have presented communication, written articles, provided health mechanisms, recommendations and assorted all diplomatic arrangements and provided cardinal reasons for the reopening of tertiary institutions, but the issue of reopening universities and colleges have been ignored. Therefore, LUSA wants to categorically send out this caveat to the national government that if she refuses to reopen universities and colleges in a said ultimatum given above, there will be endless UNSPECIFIED actions in Liberia until our universities and colleges are opened; and for the annals, we are unapologetic for any planned actions to be taken if the government remains adamant!
We are demanding and not begging!
Members of the press, as we abridge this argument, we continuously throw an open challenge to the self-proclaimed best intellectual of the weah led administration, the “financial ministry talking Drum”, Samuel D.Tweah, Jr to meet the National executive committee of LUSA at CIEO, any intellectual centre or Jacob Jallah’s OPHAM platform and intellectually justifiably justify the unjustifiable closure of schools in Liberia, most especially universities and colleges while Jamaican Resort, ghettos, beaches, and night clubs are opened and government leading the violations of health protocols and precautionary measures instituted by this same lawless and ruthless government by conducting active campaigns and political rallies.
In conclusion, we want to conspicuously and fearlessly say that we(students of various universities and colleges in Liberia) are adequately prepared to consistently demand this right of ours considering the brutal and tyrannical nature of this government, most especially when it reaches educational matter in Liberia which is a big enemy for this Weah led Government.
The brutalization and infliction of casualties on armless high schools kids when they decided to petition the government to pay their teachers is one of the instances that we are quite aware of when it comes to the incivility and intolerance of the Weah’s regime, but we are ready to face this in the name of requesting our educational rights.
The situations of South Africa, China, America, Cuba and other countries are not different than this! LUSA urges all tertiary institutions students to yen and collectively struggle for this right or perish because there is no third way!
Done and issued on this 26th Day of August 2020.
C. Just Kamara
Student of the University of Liberia &
Secretary-General / LUSA
C. Darius S Toweh Jr
Student of the AME-UNIVERSITY &
Liberian Universities students Association (LUSA)
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